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Norway's Envoy: Sri Lanka's Peace Talks Will Go Ahead


One of Norway's top peace envoys says the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to go ahead with the second round of peace talks in Geneva later this month.

Erik Solheim made the announcement following a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapakse in Colombo Thursday. Solheim said he urged both sides to stick to the truce agreement and to honor pledges they made during the first round of talks in Switzerland in February.

The next round of talks scheduled for April 19 through the 21 had been in doubt after the rebels accused the government of failing to honor a pledge made to disarm paramilitary groups.

Norway's newly appointed peace broker, Jon Hanssen-Bauer, held separate talks with Tamil Tiger political chief S.P. Thamilselvan in Kilinochchi Wednesday.

Norway brokered a ceasefire between the two sides in 2002. But renewed violence in recent months has raised fears that the truce may be in jeopardy.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, and AP.
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